The thyroid is a gland that regulates that body’s metabolism. It determines the rate at which the body burns calories, how fast the heart beats, and is responsible for maintaining hormonal balance. In adulthood, people often begin to suffer from thyroid problems which leads to different disorders affecting physical and emotional health.
The three most common thyroid problems are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid nodules. Although these each affect the body in different ways, they have some symptoms in common that can warn us when something is wrong. We’ll cover 10 common symptoms of thyroid problems that everyone should know.
Fatigue and tiredness
If after getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, you still feel tired or feel the need to take a nap, it’s likely that you’re suffering from problems with hormone production in the thyroid (hypothyroidism). The thyroid plays an important role in energy levels and experiencing fatigue can be a sign that something isn’t right.
Changes in weight
The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the speed of the metabolism, which is the process through which the body burns calories. When there is a sudden increase in weight, it can be a sign of hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. But if, on the contrary, you experience sudden, unexplained weight loss, the thyroid may be producing too high a quantity of hormones in a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
The hormonal disorders caused by thyroid problems can also affect you emotionally. If suddenly experience anxiety, depression, unexplainable mood swings or feelings of anguish, it might be the body trying to tell you that something is wrong with your thyroid.
Sudden pains in the muscles, joints or tendons can be a sign of a hormonal disorder with the thyroid gland.
The hormonal imbalances associated with thyroid problems can cause complications in conceiving children, changes in the menstrual period and a lack of sexual desire.
Feeling cold all the time
The thyroid gland regulates body temperature and is responsible for keeping the body warm. Frequent cold hands and feet, as well as the rest of the body, can be an indication of difficulties in the thyroid gland and with the metabolism.
Changes in the skin, hair and nails
Dry skin, hair loss and cracked nails are common signs of hypothyroidism. These symptoms will gradually increase in severity and require treatment to prevent them from becoming chronic.
Decreased hormonal activity in the thyroid affects processes across the entire body and the organs have difficulties carrying out their functions. In the digestive system, thyroid disorders manifest as problems absorbing nutrients from foods as well as difficulty eliminating waste products through the digestive tract. The result can be a severe case of constipation.
Often, those with thyroid problems complain of poor memory and have difficulty concentrating. This is due to the reduced secretion of thyroid hormones that slows down many functions in the body.
Voice and throat
If there is a problem with the thyroid, it’s likely that the gland will be inflamed or increase in size. When this happens, it can cause sore throat, hoarseness, malaise, swelling in the neck or snoring, among others.
What can you do about these warning signs?
In the majority of cases, thyroid problems are detected when they’re already advanced because early symptoms are often confused with other ailments. It’s very important to be aware of the symptoms which is key for an early diagnosis. Ignoring the symptoms of a possible thyroid problem can lead to further health problems that are difficult to control.
If you’re experiencing the warning signs of a thyroid problem, it’s important to consult your doctor for a medical exam and diagnostic testing. Also, if you have a family history of thyroid problems, you should receive regular checkups more often to verify that your thyroid is functioning properly.